Fact Check: Google Didn’t Remove Crowwe Due To Bad Reviews or Complaints
Mohammed Dahiru Lawal
Claim: IPI Group CEO Adamu Garba said he asked Google to remove its social media platform, Crowwe App, from Google Playstore because it needed to update the code and claims that it had been deleted because complaints from Nigerians were not true.
Verdict: Google does not remove an app from its Playstore based on bad reviews, only Apple does and in accordance with its policy, before Google removes an app from the Playstore in order to protect users from potentially harmful applications (PHAs), users can receive a Google Play Protect push notification notifying them of this change and giving them the option to remove the app from their device.
Tech giant, Google, Monday, June 14, removed the Crowwe app days after the federal government suspended Twitter.
Some injured Nigerians reportedly went to Playstore to discredit the app following the suspension of Twitter and the presentation of the app as a readily available alternative to the banned microblogging platform Twitter in Nigeria.
There has been no official announcement as to the reason for the removal, but Google Play’s policy has revealed that the company is removing apps it perceives to have violated its policy.
The Chairman and CEO of the IPI Group, Adamu Garba, says he asked Google to remove his social media platform, Crowwe App, from Google Playstore because he needed to update the code.
In a video on his Facebook page, Adamu Garba II, he claims he was updating the code live when the activity was reported by Google. So he had to ask that it not be released so that he could update the codes and repost.
The Crowwe app has been described as an instant messaging and financial transaction app that comes with a digital wallet that can transfer and receive money while chatting.
A thorough review of Google Play Policy Center was performed with particular reference to cases where an app is removed from Google Play Store. Playstore has “Google Play Protect” which is Google’s built-in malware protection for Android. It protects users from potentially unsafe applications (PHAs), which can include apps that have been deleted or suspended from Google Play.
It states that if a developer’s app has been removed or suspended from Google Play, its users may receive a push notification from Google Play Protect notifying them of the change and giving them the option to remove the app from their device. Users will also have the option to keep the app.
There are not many Crowwe app users currently as the total number is indexed at 31,245 But the few known users of the app surveyed during this research period said they had not received any notifications from Google Play Protect.
Aliyu Samba, journalist, blogger and social media influencer is one of the users of the Crowwe app and he confirms that he has not received any push notifications from google.
“Since users haven’t received push notifications, it means the app hasn’t been removed by Google for any violation,” says Sule Matthew, developer and founder of HOS Tutors Nigeria. On the flip side, a developer or app owners can remove (unpublish) their app from the Play Store using the in-store presence option and this can be done without notifying existing users of the. application However, in the event that the application violates the security and safety policies of the Play Store, such application could therefore be deleted and in this case, existing users would be informed of the associated risks via a push notification.
Further checks on claims that Google doesn’t remove apps from its Playstore just because of bad reviews reveals this to be true.
Anatoly Sharifulin, CEO and co-founder of AppFollow, a management platform that allows developers to track and respond to reviews on their apps, explain this.
“Bad reviews don’t justify removing an app from the Play Store. However, a lot of bad reviews and low ratings left by app users will negatively affect your conversions, which in turn will affect your app’s visibility in the Play Store. For example, this streak could cause your organic rankings to drop and kill any changes to be included in Featured Collections, ”he said.
Abdulraheem Sherif Adavuruku, a software developer, said: “Unlike Apple IoS where a review can force them to remove your app, Google’s app reviews and ratings are only there for users to see and do. informed choices, but they don’t remove an app because of Comments.
When you check their policy, you will see that they can delete if there is violation of customer privacy, lack of uniqueness or value in your product or due to malware and other rules, but definitely not because of ratings.
It was not the reviews / ratings that caused the Crowwe app to not be published from Google Playstore and the author’s claims that he asked Google to remove the app from the Playstore are neither false nor misleading .
The researcher produced this fact check as part of the 2021 Dubawa Kwame KariKari Fellowship partnership with PRNigeria to facilitate the ethics of ‘truth’ in journalism and improve media literacy in the country.